Lustar Group REIT / Founder & Director of Development

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Apiyo has always been passionate about four things: Hospitality, Sustainability, Growth & Africa. A hotel development professional with over 13 years experience in the global market, having worked for Bestwestern hotels, Hilton Hotels and one of the best 50 restaurants of the world, among other international brands, driving hotel rebranding & repositioning across 4 continents. Certified in Hotel Industry Analytics, a Certified Revenue Management Executive and Certified in Hotel Business Acumen with a Master’s Degree from Cornell University in New York and an MBA from Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne(EHL) in Switzerland.  Apiyo now focusses on driving hotel development in Africa having a deep understanding of the continent and has successfully delivered major hotel development projects across West Africa – Nigeria and Ghana, East Africa – Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya, South Africa – Johannesburg and is currently working on one of the largest luxury hotel development project in Africa.

As the Founder and Director of Development at Lustar Group REIT Ltd, a hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust in Africa that focusses on creating Unique and Innovative hotel Brand Concepts that connect with guests Emotionally, has been Apiyo’s passion over the last couple of years, creating three unique hotel concepts – Ankara Collection – “The Africa Experience”, Ucentric Hotels – “It’s all about U” & Colive – “Connect Cowork Coplay”, with at least six signed properties currently under development; Ucentric Hotel –  Accra (160 keys), Ankara Collection – Pemba Island (35 keys), Ucentric Hotels – Lagos (191 keys), Colive Hotel – Johannesburg (103 keys), Ucentric Hotels – Marrakech (198 keys), Ankara Collection – Saadani National Park (30 keys).

Apiyo is also the Business Development Partner for Africa at Alliance Hospitality, a hospitality advisory firm based in Singapore, USA & Africa. In addition, he is a Senior Partner and Regional Director at Interafrica Hospitality Investment LLC,  a hospitality investment and financial advisory firm based in South Africa that facilitates funding for hotel development projects that drive sustainability, he also serves as an Advisory Board Member and Head of Sustainable Development Committee at the Africa Association of Hospitality Professionals, Founder of Beneath My Smile Foundation, a mental health awareness organization that focuses on driving mental health in the hospitality industry in Africa, a hospitality mentor & coach who loves afrobeat, jazz music, cooking, gardening, photography, chess and playing the saxophone.

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Past Jury